For 50+ years I have been flyfishing and have fished with approximately 50 guides. Last week I floated with John Coolidge for the first time, and he is definitely the best guide I have floated with. John is friendly, polite, cooperative, and highly knowledgable; he is a complete professional.

John's boat, fishing equipment, and truck are top quality and his drift boat is spotlessly clean.  He is an expert at handling his boat on the river, and in rapids.  He is careful on the river and has an expert's knowledge of all the rivers he floats. Due to some shoulder surgery I find it difficult to back cast, and John worked hard to position the boat so that I could make forward casts, not back casts. He positions the boat so that you in the perfect location to make your cast.

When needed, John will make suggestions which improve your chances of catching a fish and bringing it to the boat.  The lunch he provided was excellent.  He is a pleasant man, a smart man, and it was a pleasure to fish from his boat.  Simply put, John Coolidge is the "complete" guide and I'm pleased to have found him. He is the best!

Lane Reeves, clockmaker and retired physician


My first ever musky fly trip was guided by John.  I am not an accomplished fly fisherman and had never been on a drift boat trip of any kind.  That first trip has hooked me for life!  John took care of everything, from providing the right gear to improving my casting.  We raised several fish, and although we didn't land any due to my fledgling abilities as a fisherman, I was planning the next trip even before I stepped out of the boat.

I have fished with John many times since that first trip and have never been disappointed.  We've landed some great fish and experienced drifting on some beautiful Midwestern water.  John's approach to a trip is very low key and enjoyable...but don't mistake that for a lack of focus on finding fish.  John may even break out a brand new fly pattern for you to try.  Oh, did I mention the shore lunch?  Best sandwiches I've ever had on a guided trip!

I highly recommend John's guide services to anyone, from beginner to experienced caster.  He will work hard to ensure a successful and enjoyable trip.

Steve Spiekerman - Madison, WI


GUIDE EXTRAORDINAIRE - John Coolidge is a guide’s guide and goes the extra mile where others stop short. Handmade Flies, Homemade Lunches and Personal Bests. Johns a great catch and has the whole guiding experience dialed in year after year.

Mark Follett - DePerre, WI


I have been fly fishing my entire life. I learned on the spring creeks of Southwestern Wisconsin and the spring ponds of the North Woods. When I learned that the guys Up North were catching muskies on flies, I was fascinated. Knowing nothing about it, my dad and I booked a trip with John Coolidge, Jr. a few years ago in early August. That float changed my life. We had a fantastic day on a beautiful northern river, seeing over 20 muskies up-close and boating my dad’s first fly-caught musky ever. John was as professional, courteous, and accommodating as a client could ask for. Not only did John have his beautiful drift boat in the perfect position all day, but he also took the time to teach us about reading the water, retrieving our flies properly, strip-setting, and ultimately fighting the fish. He prepared a gourmet lunch for us and graciously sought cover for us when a thunderstorm hit. It was a phenomenal day, one that I will never forget. Since that first float, I have floated with John numerous times and have had the same high-quality experience every time. (On one particular float, my friend whose bachelor party we were celebrating and I both boated our first ever muskies, a 42-incher and 38-incher. A June float with another friend resulted in 20+ fish being seen and three boated. )

John is an extremely skilled guide. His love for the sport is genuine. His patience for those of us who are less experienced and less-skilled in the sport is unmatched. He ties top-notch flies and provides top-of-the-line equipment for clients who need it. I look forward to fishing with him in the future and learning more every time. Whether you are an experienced musky fly angler or a beginner looking to immerse yourself into a new genre of fly fishing, I highly recommend John Coolidge, Jr. for his expertise, professionalism, and willingness to teach.

Matt Noll - Fort Atkinson, WI


My friend and I did a musky float  with John in June of 2012. With this being my first time fly fishing for muskies, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  John was able to provide a lot of tips and expert advice on how to cast the big musky flies and also how to strip the fly so that it looked very natural in the water.  The day was great. We had lots of fishing action, and we all had a lot of laughs floating down the river that day.  John’s professionalism has ensured that I will be making an early June musky float with him an annual trip.

Jason Martina - Madison, WI


I have fished with John for over 20 years. I've always been impressed with this knowledge of the waters we fished and his high percentage of success. In addition to putting in the time and effort to constantly scout new water, John alway has high quality equipment that is well organized and in top notch shape. Anyone interested in a quality fly-fishing experience in the UP of Michigan or northern Wisconsin won't go wrong spending a day or two in John's drift boat.

Tom Hansen - Hudson, WI



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